Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

L&M Open for More campaign

L&M is bwp-1487537242553.jpgack on the streets with a new campaign and image. There are two posters at the moment, one red (left) and one blue (which I do not have the image for – I’m trying). I suppose it is just a play on words – the packet has more in it? The sharing options are more with L&M? And, naturally, open for more ways to die. Badly.

More on privatising schools by stealth

NickyH&SJan10A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on the UK government’s assault on schools in forcibly converting them into Academies and then, by default, passing them, their assets and their curricula over to the private sector. Seemingly, there has been a lot of opposition to this, not least from local authorities whose schools they are. Nicky Morgan, the education secretary (left) for England told the UK Parliament on Monday that she is listening. So the new idea is to force schools to be academies, but for local authorities to manage chains of academies. Best of both worlds, it seems?

Hang on a minute. One of the objections was cost. Conversion costs money. So far, £32.5m has been spent on conversion. Another £100m is required to finish the job. So no. Second, conversion is the precursor to privatisation. Schools cannot easily be privatised without conversion because, presumably, ‘academisation’ is just converting the school into a bundle of assets and contracts. The kind of stuff that private companies understand. So, even if in the short-term, local authorities run academies, it is the conversion that is critical. We must ask ourselves why this is a suitable compromise for an ideological government. Because it is the academisation that they want. Eventually they will be sold/passed on to their friends to make risk-free money from.

Picture: Wikipedia

Marlboro’s You Decide goes raddled old man

20160331_183858 Naturally I thought the point of advertising was to sell products. So, use beautiful people doing interesting things in the sunshine. Clearly, I am no marketeer. However, I need some guidance on the logic of Marlboro’s latest use of a raddled old man lighting up a cigarette (left). As for the strapline, will the world care what your name was (assuming he does not have too much life left in him)? No idea!

Marlboro has another You Decide poster current (right). This is more like it. Handsome, fit, bearded man with20160331_184704 cigarette looks into the camera. Another seemingly meaningless strapline, ‘Will you stay real’? ‘Will you turn into the raddled old man?’ strikes me as being more appropriate.

You Decide, the new Maybe

20160312_170306A few weeks ago Marlboro started posting up their blank You Decide. posters (left) in that marketing ruse to spark interest. You Decide. what? An urban mystery that is compelling. The next installment is then eagerly anticipated.

The theme is now developing well across Germany and  presumably other territories wheredownload_20160326_101048 cigarette advertising is still permitted. Here are two examples. First, we are asked “Is up the only way?” in hand-written red letters. An image of a mature blond-haired woman accompanies the slogan.
download_20160326_100853Men, by contrast, are asked “How far is enough?” in similarly fonted writing. The man is modern urban figure courting a beard and sitting on what seems to be a wooden box.

OK, this is an unfolding narrative. There are more to come, for sure. Though, let me re-iterate, there is only one direction for smokers and this point is far enough. Quit.

Camel’s own goal

20160324_201852Camel’s more recent advertising campaign has celebrated its lethal qualities with primary colours and brand. With the “New Red and Blue” marketing it is back to the simplicity of presenting the product to camera. A man in a checked shirt holds a packet exposing the logo to the camera.

However, it seems that the marketeers have not been following this blog. The strapline “Next Camel Generation” beckons my normal scorn. Has the previous generation succumbed to cancer and heart disease?

Who wants to be Prime Minister of the divided Isle?

Euro_flag_yellow_lowHere in the UK at the moment, we are being fed a daily diet of EU in-or-out gruel. Two camps vying for our vote in the referendum on 23 June. Cannot wait. The out side are particularly interesting because for neither camp is it about values – the values of sharing the planet, trading to stop us fighting against one another and protecting human rights.

So, in the red corner are the fascists who believe that immigration is at the heart of the country’s problems and exit would first of all stop all of the Poles, Romanians, etc. coming and taking our jobs, houses, schools, etc., but also make it easier for the country to stop the middle-eastern refugees from entering because the borders can again be controlled. Having just crossed a border today at Gatwick Airport, I cannot see that the border could be better ‘protected’ from the latter category. Frankly.

In the blue corner we find the renegade Tory ministers who are interested in being big fish in a small pool (England) rather than small fish in a big pool (Europe). Apparently, we make better laws than other Europeans. We are better at negotiating trade deals than Europeans, something to do with our imperial history. We could negotiate the necessary trade deals with key markets in the time it takes to say Xi Jinping or Donald Trump. And of course, these countries need the British market because they sell more things to us than we do to them – as if that was a good thing.

Leading this intellectually cat-brained movement is Boris Johnson (right)Johnson, the selfless Mayor of London. Johnson claims, of course,
that he did a lot of soul searching before opting for Brexit. He did not really want to oppose his own prime minister. But he just had to. He is not doing it as a springboard to being prime minister when a wounded David Cameron gives up after being found to be on the wrong side. No.

Choices, choices.

Pic: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London twitter

More explicit street advertising in Germany

20160206_192103Street advertisers are currently obsessed with selling online dating sites. The most in-your-face is (left). It is clear enough without the strapline “sensual encounters make you  happy”. What’s more, it is award winning (Testsieger, top right of poster). The awarding body is, of course, that fearsome tester, ‘singles comparisons market’. 5 Stars, no less. has gone for the blanket approach. This example was found on a main route into the centre of Munich with smaller versions positioned every 50 metres, or so, next to the entrance to supermarkets, fuel stations and pharmacies!

Another dating site has taken a different visual approach, but equally blanketing in terms of positioning the posters (right). posts pictures of handsome people informing commuters that every 11 minutes a single falls in love through Parship! That is quite a claim if true. It does not seem to be award winning. But maybe the stat speaks for itself? If you are a man without perfect bone structures, straight teeth and a bit of facial hair, the stat goes down to every 11 years. Probably.

A bit rich coming from Lynton Crosby


So, according to Lynton Crosby, the architect of the Conservative’s 2015 election campaign, the Labour Party demonstrates an arrogance in the Beckett Report into the causes of the election defeat. Let us get this straight, Crosby said at a rare lecture for the Centre for Opposition Studies last week: “They [the voters] weren’t saying that Labour overspending caused the failure of the global financial system. What they were saying is that Labour overspending meant Britain wasn’t well equipped when the financial crisis hit.” In addition he said, “[t]he point is, the voters have spoken and they have made their judgment – not once but twice – and in a democracy their view is the most important”.

First of all, the Conservatives did not win the election in 2010. They governed in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Second – and I am no apologist for a reprehensible Labour Government – when the financial crisis hit, the Labour Government bailed out a series of rotten banks that deposited a huge “debt” on the country’s balance sheet. It was the Labour Party that had the gumption to rescue these banks (and probWrecking ballably the British banking system more generally) from collapse. The head of the Government at that time was the long-serving former Chancellor, Gordon Brown, regarded even by Conservatives as competent. The Cancellor was Alistair Darling. That took quite a bit of courage and the state of the public finances before the crash which – let us be reminded, no one predicted – is seemingly irrelevant. Moreover, even if his statement is correct, it is a myth that the public finances are in such a parlous state. The debt is manageable, it does not in itself warrant wholesale budget slashing and the contraction of the state. That is the ideological response – an opportunity to privatise the public sector.

PocketFinally, the Labour Party does not need lessons from a man who mis-informed and lied his party to victory.  Crosby’s character assassination of the Labour Leader, Ed Miliband, represented a new low in negative politics. Readers may recall, Michael Fallon, the Conservative Defence Secretary is quoted as saying 10 days before the election “Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.” That was Crosby at his mendacious worst. And maybe we may not see a Labour government in the foreseeable future because decent and honourable politicians do not stoop that low. Näive, I know.

Lucky Strike for every bag

20160121_194708One for the women, maybe? So you are going out all dressed up and fit for an evening of gossip (Tratsch) only to find that your cigarettes will not fit into your clutch bag. What do you do? Thank goodness for Lucky Strike. Those wonderfully innovative people who work there have found a way of making them smaller – or ‘resized’ – perfect for your clutch bag. With added flow filter, of course. Death does not get better than this.

L&M advise on home contents disposal

20160118_073103Well here is the latest L&M advertising masterpiece. Couple sat on the floor in a room with no furniture. An open fire and mantlepiece with a couple of glasses of wine on it have been sketched in using some insipid brown colour for some reason.

It looks to me that the couple have sold all of their possessions in order either to feed their nicotine habit or, as is more likely, they have some terminal illness which means possessions are superfluous. They fondly think about the good times before L&M.